Mayfield Brain & Spine helps veteran get back on his feet

Mayfield Brain & Spine helps veteran get back on his feet (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Local doctors who helped a veteran get back on his feet recently say that they want to thank him this Veterans Day Weekend.

He needed a delicate spine surgery to the upper area of the spine.

“I was in the army, I was in the infantry,” said Rusty Olson.

Maybe it was during Rusty’s time as an Army paratrooper or maybe it set in with family time afterward, but Rusty Olson says that earlier this year he couldn't get help until he got to the right medical team.

“My left leg didn't have the motor control that it should have, it didn't have the feeling that it should have, I knew something was wrong,” said Mr. Olsen.

Luckily, a member of the team referred him to see a spine specialist, who was able to take some imaging. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there is one picture that told an entire story.

The story starts with what that Spine Specialist Dr. Zachary Tempel.

“The spinal cord is draped over that disc herniation,” said Dr. Tempel.

It turned out Rusty had a common disc leaking problem in an uncommon, dangerous place.

“Manipulating the spinal cord itself, can cause a major dramatic deficit including paralysis, so you are basically working around a bomb,” said Dr. Tempel.

So, in the delicate procedure, Dr. Temples team removed some of spine bones to create a space or cavity and then they were able to free the disc itself from the spinal cord and then push it down into that cavity.

He wasn't sure how well it worked for Rusty until the next day.

“Yes, in fact I think my first expression when Rusty was in the recovery room and I asked him to move his legs well, and he did was, thank God,” said Dr. Tempel.

This week, as the nation celebrate veterans in addition to thanking God, Dr. Tempel is thanking his patient.

“It’s a risky operation, but there's no better feeling than to have provided a good service and done good work for someone who's spent a lot of time helping protect my ability to do that for others,” said Dr. Tempel.

Rusty is still healing, but is expected to make a full recovery.

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